University of Arizona: Professor Leading Controversial Marijuana Research Terminated


University of Arizona

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Case Overview


In June 2014, the University of Arizona (UA) informed Professor Suzanne Sisley that it would not be renewing any of her three appointments after September 2014, essentially terminating her relationship with UA, where she has worked since 2007. Sisley’s termination came despite the recent federal approval for a study concerning the therapeutic effects of marijuana on veterans suffering from chronic post traumatic stress disorder, on which Sisley has served as Principal Investigator since 2010. Previously, the Arizona State Senate’s president had demanded information about her activities from the university, including her alleged support of a recall petition against a senator who had blocked state funding for the study, raising concerns for politically-motivated retaliation. On August 2, 2014, FIRE wrote to UA President Ann Weaver Hart raising concerns about the political pressure factoring in Sisley’s termination and calling on UA to reverse Sisley’s termination and allow her to continue her research.